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91 Civic Hatch
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151 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Heres a little info about my civic:
Mileage (body): ~205K
Mileage on the ENGINE: ~50K (it seems to be a very solid engine, silent as hell and runs great (or used to lol... I was told it came out of a JY civic that was in an accident)
New parts:
Spark plugs,
Wires,
Fuel Filter,
Air Filter,
Main Relay.

Known Problem(s):
-The radiator has a small crack in the top tank, causing it only to hold about 4/5 of the normal fluid level....does not seem to affect how it ran all summer long and didnt seem to affect the operating temperature.
-A gentle squeaking or repeating scratching sound (and i mean gentle, you have to have your ear less then 2 feet away) can be heard from within the distributor cap area...

Here are the symptoms of my 91 Civic DX 5 speed with the standard D15B2 (DPFI) engine:

From a cold start (which takes a lot of cranks to start the car in the first place, it used to only take 3-4 cranks to start the car, not it takes like 8 or 9) it runs absolutely perfect, it can be idling and i can floor it and it doesn't bog/sputter or anything and it drives perfect.

Once it is warmed up and the ecu takes over the car begins to run much rougher, the idle is sputtering and misfireing- often times it can just stall on its own at idle from sputtering so much. Or if I push the gas hard enough it will sputter up til it gets to a bit higher of an rpm then it clears up and runs good. The massive bogging/sputtering seems to ONLY take place in the lower rpm range if i press the gas down hard, it does it much less if i baby the throttle.

There is no smoke or anything, exhaust seems normal, and while i drive i do sometimes smell a faint scent of gas but i looked all over the car and i cant find where im smelling the gasoline smell. And the sputter DOES of course affect how it drives, it makes it hard to get going into 1st and can even make it stall going into 2nd gear from when it drops down to the lower rpms.

Ive had this car about 8 months now, it ran awesome all summer long when i first got it but once it got colder it started to pull this crap on me and i had to get a different car to drive for the winter.... kinda sucks I love the car and i hope its something simple thats causing it to act like this.

I have novice engine skills, i can change sensors, themostats, radiators and other easier things. I dont have a large tool supply yet lol. I am just curious if anyone has had a similar problem and could make an easy pinpoint to the problem.

To anyone curious here are some pics of my Civ :p


And a video of me granny shifting it while flooring it, you can HEAR the sputter the VERY first time i rev it at about ~3 seconds into the video, it has gotten quite a bit worse since i recorded this vid:
Civic Run video by GraniteLXi - Photobucket
 

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Honda Civic
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it sounds like its your IACV ..located on the back of the mani with 2 coolant lines going to it.
if the sensor is bad.. or going bad.
it will run fine when cold.. but once the antifreeze heats up it up..
it will run rough & sometimes kill the car

try unplugging the iacv when its warmed up & running & see if the idle goes up high & stays running real smooth.. if it does, you know thats your problem

which more then likley it is the iacv
 

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Honda Civic
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another thing...
I noticed you said it sputters when driving.. the above cure would be for the idle only.. & starting the car

I would check your spark when it comes to sputtering/bogging when driving

possible the ignition coil because you say at low rpms;

goodluck :)
 

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91 Civic Hatch
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151 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks, I'll have to try that. (got any pics to show me by the way? always helps to see it)

The idle is perfect when its cold, just when it warms up the idle is affected as well as the sputtering/bogging when gassing it from the lower rpms, doesn't matter if its in gear or not. Both of these problems seem to be related to me.

It ONLY sputters if i accelerate harder in the lower rpms, once i get it up to speed and go steady it runs just fine, this holds true while being out of gear too!
just to be clear this is an accelleration issue for the most part.
 

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91 Civic Hatch
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151 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
another thing...
I noticed you said it sputters when driving.. the above cure would be for the idle only.. & starting the car

I would check your spark when it comes to sputtering/bogging when driving

possible the ignition coil because you say at low rpms;

goodluck :)
If it were the ignition coil wouldn't it affect it too during the warm-up process? Like I said the car seems to run great when its warming up, seems to have more power and everything. Only thing that is bad like I said before is it seems to take excessive cranking from a cold start, and actually it even takes excessive cranking from a warm start a lot of the time.

Oh, also at one point the IACV did act up on me for a few days during mid-summer, the idle would bounce just a little. This problem went away all by its self strangely.
 

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the coil would not always effect the the engine when its getting warmed up
coils can act seriously crazy somtimes... I've been through 7 the past 8 years so I'm pretty good with'em,
I've had some that wouldnt keep the car running when it got warm,
some wouldnt let the car start & some makes the tachs bounce & sputter throughout different rpms..
what I'm basically saying is that its not always a routine of some sort when it comes to the ignition coil. its worth checking out. (if you have a spare one its actually a breeze...)

& your car cranking over multiple times is another reason why I said the coil.. although this problem is somthing to do with the spark.
could be worn out plug wires, plugs (which is probably not likley)... dizzy cap or rotor button could be excessivley worn out.. if you havent changed them in a good year or 2

but its dark outside & its 3am.. I'll take pictures of what I'm talking about tomorrow.. (as I've got another person I need to take pictures for too)

also.. do you have dpfi or mpfi? (intake manifold)
cause the pictures might mislead you if we have opposite
 

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91 Civic Hatch
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Discussion Starter #11
Granny Wagon
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237 Posts
check distributor timing, check spark plugs, check the spark plug leads, examine rotor cap and see if there's a problem, examine dissy (any oil in it?), change the fuel filter lately? have a look at throttle body (clean enough?), examine IACV (clean?). simple things first. don't jump to conclusion and spend money on parts you may not need. thanks for all the info, makes it much easier for us to see where you're at.
and welcome :td:
 

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91 Civic Hatch
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151 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
check distributor timing, check spark plugs, check the spark plug leads, examine rotor cap and see if there's a problem, examine dissy (any oil in it?), change the fuel filter lately? have a look at throttle body (clean enough?), examine IACV (clean?). simple things first. don't jump to conclusion and spend money on parts you may not need. thanks for all the info, makes it much easier for us to see where you're at.
and welcome :td:
spark plugs are new, spark plug wires are new, fuel filter is new.

I'm going to try unplugging the IACV after its warmed up and running to see if that tells me the iacv is in need of servicing, also as i mentioned i believe the cap & rotor need replacing, as well as i can hear a peculiar repeating soft scratching sound coming from inside the distributor cap. This is why i showed the kit, it would be cheaper to replace it all since i have no idea how long ago the one on the car was replaced anyway.
 
Granny Wagon
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237 Posts
yea they do wear out, so wouldn't be a bad idea to change them. i've never heard of a coil wearing out but i'll take randy's word for it. anyway it's not the cheapest part to be replacing on a whim. search MSD's. some people HATE them...
 

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91 Civic Hatch
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151 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Yeah ive heard a few bad things about them myself, but it seems most of the hype is positive. A lot of people seem to stand by MSD ignition systems.

Also- if this problem of mine does turn out to be a bad IACV affecting everything is it possible to just clean it or do i need to buy a new iacv unit or an iacv sensor?
 

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Have you figured anything out with the rough idle issue?

I have a similar problem with my 90 crx si. I bought the car and it didn't have a thermostat. The car ran fine but when I installed a thermostat it ran rough when warmed up and idling. Mine will run fine until it warm and you let it idle for more than two minutes.
 

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IDK if this has been said already, but it may be worthwhile to check your Coolant Temperature Sensor (plug located underneath the dizzy). The cts functions by increasing resistance as the coolant warms up (i.e. heat loss) to your injector resistor box, allowing for a modulation of fuel delivery depending on whether or not the engine is warm or cold.

My 88 si would take five or six cranks in the morning to warm up and would have to sit for five min or so until the engine warmed up b/c it would sputter out if i drove it cold . I know that you said the problem persists when the engine is warm and not cold, but it may be possible that the metal sensor on you cts has become fouled (due to old age), thus causing an excess of resistance once your engine has become warm. It is 20 dollar part and takes ten minutes to swap out with a box wrench. It is worth a try. Good luck!
 

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it sounds like its your IACV ..located on the back of the mani with 2 coolant lines going to it.
if the sensor is bad.. or going bad.
it will run fine when cold.. but once the antifreeze heats up it up..
it will run rough & sometimes kill the car

try unplugging the iacv when its warmed up & running & see if the idle goes up high & stays running real smooth.. if it does, you know thats your problem

which more then likley it is the iacv
What does it mean if you disconnect the iacv and the car immediately dies?
 
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